The 2011 Iowa Straw Poll is winding down. It was a festive event, perhaps best described as a political tailgate. Music, food, and other fun was nearly everywhere around Hilton Coliseum in Ames, IA. Of course, so were the politicians.

When the speeches began there were quite a number of people still milling around outside- including me. As a result I missed much of Rick Santorum’s speech, which was regrettable. I can say that he was well received by the crowd, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, they especially liked his recounting of his past campaign successes against Democrat opponents as well as his work to sponsor and lead the way in passing pro-life legislation, including a bill that criminalizes the killing of an unborn baby when the mother is assaulted or murdered.

Tim Pawlenty began his remarks by saying that we need to take back our country from Barack Obama. He recounted the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, contrasting that with the policies of President Obama which he suggested were like “a manure spreader in a windstorm”. He said the President “should put his full faith and credit in the American people”, and that the nation should put its faith in God “first and foremost”. He went on to say that we can’t spend more than we take in, we must maintain peace by maintaining strength, and that we must “get the government off our backs”. He also spoke of repealing Obamacare and a balanced budget amendment.

He concluded by telling the crowd to “look at (his) record”, saying that a candidate has “gotta be more than words” and deliver “results not just talk”. He said would work to “restore America”, and that “you can take that to the bank”.

Michele Bachmann began by talking about how “we’re going to take it back”, and “make Barack Obama a one term president”. She emphasized her Iowa roots, stating that Iowa “stands for human life”, and that Iowa has a “marvelous appreciation for marriage” defined as “one man and one woman”. Citing Iowa’s recall vote on its Supreme Court judges, she said that she would appoint judges that “won’t legislate from the bench”. She said that Iowans will “never be ashamed” to be social conservatives.

She talked about being in business with her husband, and that they “actually think its a good idea to turn a profit”. She concluded by saying that she stands for life, marriage, and keeping the fruits of our own labor.

Thadeus McCotter began his speech (after displaying his dry humor with a joke about his hair) by suggesting that “the future is not about big government, it’s self government”. He spoke of the opportunity to “undo the damage” that has been done by the President and his party. He talked about how forcing people into dependence upon the government was wrong. He was critical of the bank bail-outs, and was especially critical of China. He observed that our military is expanding freedom for others, and we should not abandon them.

He passionately affirmed that the Federal government or the U.N. should not be allowed to interfere with families. “The future is now, the future is you”, he said.

Herman Cain gave a rousing speech that was well received by the crowd. He said the “engine of economic growth is the business sector”, and “uncertainty is killing this economy”. Speaking of foreign policy he mentioned the observation that he has no experience in foreign policy. “And Barack Obama has?”, he asked rhetorically to a laughing and cheering crowd.

He said we have a moral crisis in the country. He said that “life must be protected from conception (forward)”. He pointed out that the Founders understood where our rights come from, and that he would never leave out the phrase “endowed by their creator”. He then said one of the funniest lines of the day: “There is no Department of Happy in Washington, D.C.”

It was a great day for Conservatives and Republicans…and I hope we don’t have to have another one four years from now.




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